GRE Issue Essay 195
“It is possible to identify a person’s politics within a very short time of meeting him or her. Everything about people-their clothes, their friends, the way they talk, what they eat-reflects their political beliefs.”
It has been heard time and again that the first impression is generally the last impression. A person’s behavior speaks volumes about the type of thinking supported by the person. Therefore, one needs little time to gauge the beliefs of a person by studying his dressing style, his company and his general mannerisms.
The political beliefs of a person may be related to his views on various issues pertaining to the society, economy, government, human relations etc. The best way to know a person is by talking to him. He is bound to discuss issues in such a way that it will reveal his political beliefs. If he supports nationalistic views, there would be no reason for him to support an issue that goes against the interests of the nation as he would like to accord a high priority to the interests of the nation. A person who is a conservative will always support the norms laid down by society irrespective of being outnumbered by people who think otherwise. Someone who supports liberal views will demonstrate that in his mannerisms and attitude as such a person will have an inclination for giving a higher priority to personal satisfaction above everything else.
If you have met a woman a couple of times only, but you have always seen her dressed conservatively, then it is obvious that you will get the impression that she supports conservative views. It has been rarely seen that people who dress conservatively support liberal views. This is because the views supported by a person dominate his dressing sense to a large extent. If a person is of the opinion that there is no problem in dressing unconventionally, then it is obvious that this opinion will be reflected in his dressing style. For someone who is conscious about his image as seen by others, it would be very important to dress decently and appear well groomed at all times. On the contrary, someone who does not pay much emphasis to external appearances will generally be seen dressed casually with an unkempt look. Hence, it is evident that a person’s beliefs can be easily determined by analyzing their dressing sense.
People like to stay in the company of others who share their views. If a person is generally seen with people who are known to be unsociable and rowdy, then one can draw the conclusion that this particular person shares the same thoughts and ideas as those of the group. If he had different ideas, then he would have felt uncomfortable in this group and he would not have been in their friend circle. A person can comfortably stay within a friend circle only if he shares common views with his friends. Therefore, studying the friend circle of a person gives a fairly good indication of the beliefs of the person in question.
In sum, it can be said that the political beliefs of a person are reflected by his mannerisms and his circle of friends. These beliefs will also be reflected by the way a person chooses to dress and interact with others. It is true that people can easily dupe others into believing that they support views other than what they actually follow. This is evident in the case of political leaders who succeed in projecting an image that is contrary to their actual image by manipulating their mannerisms and dressing styles. Barring exceptions like this where people try to deliberately camouflage their actual beliefs; it is generally true that one can determine the true beliefs of a person within a short period of meeting him.